How to extend the life of your windshield wiper blades

How to extend the life of your windshield wiper blades
| By: Christian Brothers Automotive

Every car owner knows that over time your windshield wipers will age, wear out, and need to be replaced. When the rubber blade sustains too much damage, it will harden, become brittle, and crack. Damaged windshield wipers can be a pain to deal with—they can leave unsightly streaks or residue that make it harder to see, and can even scratch up your windshield. However, replacing these blades multiple times a year can be a nuisance.

But what if we told you there were ways you could extend the life of your wiper blades? On this blog, our auto repair experts give easy to follow tips for keeping your wiper blades healthy so you don’t have to worry about always needing to change them out.

Park in the Shade

One of the top things that ruins wiper blades is exposure to extreme heat, and that’s why summer in particular is hard on them. When the sun starts beating down on your windshield, the surface can get extremely hot, and it’s this hot surface that causes the rubber blade to soften, then harden, eventually losing that pliability in exchange for that hard, crusty texture. While you can’t prevent summer from being harsh on your car, you can prevent some of the harshness by keeping your car out of direct sunlight. Park in your garage when you’re home (if you have one) or under covered parking wherever possible. You’ll enjoy longer-lasting wiper blades and better performance.

Don’t Use Your Wipers to Scrub Your Windshield

Are you one of those people who simply doesn’t wash their car all that often? If so, you probably are familiar with the hassle of having a dirty windshield. A dirty windshield makes it tough to drive—it makes it hard to see at night when lights shine into it, it makes it difficult to see in front of you during the day, and much more. But your car more than likely has a solution to this issue built in: a small pump which sprays wiper fluid onto your windshield that loosens dirt. Once the dirt is loose, your wipers simply wipe the dirt away.

While this can clean out things like bug splats, dirt, or dust, scrubbing is not something your wiper blades are built for. They’re built to flex and keep a tight seal against your windshield. As your wipers glide over this extra texture, they can deform, decay, or even erode, which causes them to wear out faster. Think of it like running your wiper blades over a thin piece of sandpaper. While it’s good that cars have this feature for emergencies, try to avoid using it as much as possible, and instead clean your windshield while washing your car or waiting until you can find a squeegee and sponge at a gas station.

Don’t Use Your Blades to Clear Ice

It may be tempting to use your wiper blades to try and clear ice off your windshield during those cold winter months, but this has a similar effect to using your wipers to scrub dirt and bugs off your windshield—the texture can damage the blades and wear them out faster.Ice is particularly harsh on wiper blades because it’s so hard, and the sharp edges and texture can cause tremendous damage to the blade.

Instead, use your defroster to warm your windshield, and then take a plastic scraper to your windshield to remove the ice by hand. It may be less convenient to do things this way, but it’s going to be far more effective. Not to mention it’s also cheaper since you’ll spare your wiper blades from excessive damage.

About Christian Brothers Automotive

Christian Brothers Automotive has always tried to do right by our customers by simply treating them how we would like to be treated. We’re upfront, honest, and transparent about the services your car needs, including offering straightforward advice about what we find and what we suggest. Our customer service always comes first, including offering conveniences like a free shuttle ride or a comfortable waiting area at each of our franchise locations. We have over 200 locations nation-wide, and each shop is locally owned and operated.

We service all makes and models, and are happy to assist you with your windshield wiper needs.

To find your local Christian Brothers Automotive shop, please search our interactive map here.

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